March 14th, 2009
01:03 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama nominates Food and Drug chief

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="President Obama announced Saturday his pick to lead the Food and Drug Administration."]
(CNN) - In his weekly address to the nation Saturday, President Obama announced his choice of Dr. Margaret Hamburg to lead the Food and Drug Administration.

Watch: Obama's weekly address

"From her research on infectious disease at the National Institutes of Health to her work on public health at the Department of Health and Human Services to her leadership on biodefense at the Nuclear Threat Initiative, Dr. Hamburg brings to this vital position not only a reputation of integrity but a record of achievement in making Americans safer and more secure," Obama said.

According to the White House, Hamburg was one of the youngest people ever elected to the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine.

Hamburg's nomination now goes to the U.S. Senate for confirmation.

Full Transcript of address

Obama also made three other key announcements:

–Baltimore Commissioner of Health, Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, has been selected to serve as the FDA's principal deputy commissioner.

- A new Food Safety Working Group will coordinate with other agencies and advise the president on improving coordination throughout the government, as well as examining and upgrading food safety laws.

- The Agriculture Department is set to close a loophole to prevent diseased cows from entering the food supply - along with implementing new measures to increase the number of food inspectors and modernize food safety labs.

"In the end, food safety is something I take seriously, not just as your President, but as a parent," Obama said. "When I heard peanut products were being contaminated earlier this year, I immediately thought of my 7-year old daughter, Sasha, who has peanut butter sandwiches for lunch probably three times a week. No parent should have to worry that their child is going to get sick from their lunch."

Filed under: Popular Posts • President Obama
soundoff (68 Responses)
  1. Happy Camper

    Is she up to date on paying her taxes?

    March 14, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  2. Fearful for innovation and novelty

    From what I have been able to find out she seems good, as long as she is pro-pharma and not anti-innovation when it comes to novel meds I am on board. This importing drugs crap that the big "O" is pushing is complete and absolute BS!

    March 14, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  3. No Hillary = No Obama

    There is a doctor whose name is Doctor Doctor and a vet whose name is Dr. Parrott and now we have Dr. Hamburg.

    March 14, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  4. Jerry

    The conservative notion that drug companies, NASA, financial instutions, food processors, etc., can better inspect themselves and will provide the consumer with safe products is once again proven wrong, i.e., Reaganism is dead.

    It is time to institute a safe playing field for all participants. Without a level playing field, societies become divided against themselves and fail; hopefully, this is not what the right-wing extremists want.

    March 14, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  5. Wil Methodical

    Wonder if she will make it more than a few days without having something odd come up about her... like that she may not even be a US citizen.. oh wait that was Obama....

    March 14, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  6. Linda B., Ga.

    I actually don't think we will find too many people in this country that aren't guilty of doing "something". We certainly could start with the Senate and House of Reps, I think the scales justice would be WAY OFF BALANCE "if" we checked every nook and cranny out, on that bunch...

    Somebody up above said that Former Pres. Bush's selection process was done pretty quickly...ummmmmmmmmmmm Look what condition our country is in, because of this "quick" selection process....

    God Bless America 🙂

    March 14, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  7. John Starnes Tampa Florida

    Amazing to see a president choosing appointees based on their knowledge and skill vs. Bush appointing buddies he "owed" favors to, like Michael Brown heading up FEMA. Change indeed!

    March 14, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  8. Sammy

    Based on some of the comments here, I dare anyone to find a qualified candidate that has absolutely no past problems of any kind. Its all a matter of degrees. Is the goal to find any kind of past issue or to find an issue that is actually important? Not paying taxes is a big one. So is lobbying. But one like, for arguments sake, making a controversial comment about the food industry is not. Maybe for this person there is an actual issue. We will have to wait an see. But I hope nobody spends time trying to create one.

    March 14, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  9. Ex-Republican in Philadelphia

    Thank goodness we finally have someone with intelligence and integrity in the Oval Office. I just heard Jack Bogle (head of the Vanguard Group) speak this morning and he had nothing but praise for Obama. With Bogle and Warren Buffett in Obama's corner, I feel extremely upbeat about our country's future.

    March 14, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  10. DawnS

    We'll see if these appointees paid their taxes. It looks like tax cheat Geithner can't find anyone to work with him at Treasury. Obama is off to a real slow start find honest Democrats who can get confirmed by the Senate.

    March 14, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  11. Bull Corrigan

    Yeah, yeah, yeah! Same old, same old. What's her tax problem?

    March 14, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  12. stormerF

    If,They get some funding and some Teeth,to curb the tainted food coming in and the processed food here it will be good.Without the teeth to do anything or the funding to hire qualified inspectors its just a sham.

    March 14, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  13. Rob in Detroit Mi.

    "Great" now can we please stop the spread of cloned meat.

    March 14, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  14. Mitchell from MS

    Cromwell I guess you haven't seen how many BO appointies have been tax cheats, lobbyiest, or just dropped out because of trouble with the law.

    March 14, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  15. Obama is the Greatest!

    just too bad his appointees don't show similar skills when they pay (supposedly) there taxes.

    March 14, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  16. Abby

    WHY can't the obama gang find honest – tax paying qualified people to run his administration??????
    This is really quite a joke!

    March 14, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  17. Paula

    Karl Rove paid his taxes and look how that turned out LOL

    March 14, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  18. S Callahan

    With that last name I am almost tempted to make a joke ...but I won't.

    I'll be nice because she holds the keys to safe food. I wish her well.Congrats.

    In the past, I suffered a terrible case of HPylori.....made me want to sue the FDA for failure to make sure the food was safe....thankfullly I healed.

    March 14, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
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